Belfast Telegraph

Bishop warns Northern Ireland education system is 'unraveling'

The Rt Rev Ken Good.
The Rt Rev Ken Good.

A Church of Ireland bishop has warned that the education system in Northern Ireland has reached a point "beyond crisis".

Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Rt Rev Ken Good made the comments during a speech at the Church of Ireland's general synod on Saturday.

Representatives gathered in Londonderry to discuss the future running of the church.

Bishop Good told the assembled church leaders that the education system was facing a number of pressures which could "destabilise the whole school system".

The BBC reported that he said issues included a lack of vision, lack of money and declining morale among school staff and govenors.

Bishop Good said that schools needed more resources to support children with mental health issues and special educational needs.

He also addressed the non-functioning Stormont Assembly, which he said was exacerbating the situation.

Last week 500 primary school principals wrote to Head of the Civil Service David Sterling urging him to raise the issue of schools funding during the latest round of power-sharing talks at Stormont.

"The lack of political leadership in Stormont is the dead hand," Bishop Good said.

"It means there's no-one in charge who can take decisions about this transformation vision.

"The education system in Northern Ireland is in financial crisis too.

"The squeeze is becoming more and more serious and the consequences are becoming more and more hazardous."

While Bishop Good acknowledged good work going on in schools, pointing to the number of schools taking part in shared education, he said that a generation of pupils were being failed by the current situation.

"The long-term picture is not healthy and we need to see action now to build a better future for our children and young people," he said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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